State of Alaska, cities, business groups file to defend exemption of Tongass from Roadless Rule

first_imgAlaska’s Energy Desk | Climate Change | Energy & Mining | Environment | Southeast | Subsistence | Timber | Tourism | WildlifeState of Alaska, cities, business groups file to defend exemption of Tongass from Roadless RuleMarch 25, 2021 by Eric Stone, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Ketchikan Share:Part of the Tongass National Forest on Douglas Island pictured in 2004. (Creative Commons photo by Henry Hartley)The state of Alaska and a former governor along with a host of municipalities, trade groups and businesses have filed to defend the Tongass National Forest’s exemption from a Clinton-era rule that limits development on federal land.The Trump administration decided to get rid of the Roadless Rule for the Tongass last year. Shortly afterwards, a group of tribes, conservation groups, fishermen and tourism companies sued the federal government, seeking to overturn the decision. They say the decision to lift the rule on more than 9 million acres of the Tongass is based on a flawed environmental analysis and ignores the input of Alaska Native tribes and the public.But the state and the rest of the coalition looking to defend the exemption for the Tongass say the rulemaking process was proper and that an exemption is critical to the state’s economy.“The Tongass holds great economic opportunity for not only Southeast Alaska, but the State as a whole,” Gov. Mike Dunleavy said in a news release. “From resuming our timber industry to attracting tourism, this region has the potential to create good-paying jobs and it is my administration’s intent to defend our state’s rights and improve access to public lands.”Robert Venables is executive director of Southeast Conference, an economic development group. He said projects in the Tongass are already held to high standards under state and federal laws and regulations.“What really is the issue, in my mind, is having a conversation of, how does Alaska really access and control and have more of a conversation about how the forest is managed? Because this is very unique, where you have almost 96% of the region in direct federal control,” Venables told Alaska’s Energy Desk in a phone interview.He said the Roadless Rule places unnecessary hurdles in front of development, pointing specifically to renewable energy projects. While developers can apply for exemptions to the Roadless Rule — and most are granted — he said the rule adds to the cost and time required to complete projects.“This is not about extraction of resources. This is about every single economic sector meeting having unique needs for the forest, and we need a management plan that can reflect that,” Venables said.Roadless Rule supporters disagree. They see increased resource extraction and development as an inevitable consequence of the rule going away in Alaska.President Joel Jackson from the Organized Village of Kake said he’s concerned development could hurt the region’s other economic drivers.“Our region, before COVID, was heavily reliant on tourism, and sport fishing, and commercial fishing and subsistence fishing. And it still is. And those areas provide way more jobs and more economic value to Southeast Alaska,” Jackson said in a phone interview.Jackson said it’s also a threat to Alaska Native tribes’ way of life, since they harvest food and medicine from the forest and nearby waters.Ketchikan’s city and borough have joined the state in defending the exemption. City Mayor Bob Sivertsen said development doesn’t have to harm the environment.“Well, there are mitigations for everything we do,” Sivertsen said via phone. “We have the technology these days to do construction and other things that would lessen the impact on environmental issues, whether we’ve got to put in fish culverts, silt fences, the design and placement of the roads, all those types of things.”Roadless Rule advocates say that logging and other development could accelerate climate change because the Tongass stores vast amounts of carbon.Other parties defending the exemption include the city of Craig, statewide and Southeast chambers of commerce, electric utilities, shipping companies and resource development advocacy groups.Share this story:last_img read more

How a single comment cost Royal Bank of Canada millions of dollars in fees from Alibaba’s IPO

first_imgWednesday 29 October 2014 6:50 am How a single comment cost Royal Bank of Canada millions of dollars in fees from Alibaba’s IPO whatsapp Show Comments ▼ Share Lynsey Barber whatsapp by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryzenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.comThe No Cost Solar ProgramGet Paid To Install Solar + Tesla Battery For No Cost At Install and Save Thousands.The No Cost Solar Programinvesting.comThe Military Spent $1 Billion On this New Vehicle, And Here’s The First Lookinvesting.comMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailNational Penny For Seniors7 Discounts Seniors Only Get If They AskNational Penny For SeniorsMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekFreight & Shipping Quotes | Search AdsResearch & Compare Freight & Shipping QuotesFreight & Shipping Quotes | Search AdsEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity Mirror Tags: Alibaba IPOs One banker will be keeping his or her mouth shut for a while to come after, let’s say a slight snafu, ended up costing their employer millions of dollars.The loose-lipped, unnamed banker at Royal Bank of Canada apparently let slip a comment about Alibaba during a webinar. No biggie, surely – unless the bank you work for happens to be working on Alibaba’s $25bn IPO… The “inadvertent” comment cost RBC a slice of the $300m in fees due to be shared among banks working on the biggest ever IPO.Although the banker wasn’t working on the deal, the bank decided to withdraw from it anyway, because it “puts clients first”.In a statement, RBC said: “An employee unrelated to the Alibaba IPO process inadvertently made a comment about the transaction on an industry webinar during the period leading up to the offering. Consistent with our core values of putting our clients first and out of an abundance of caution, we voluntarily chose to withdraw from the IPO transaction. The comment did not impact the offering, and our decision to withdraw in no way reflects on either Alibaba or the IPO transaction.”For its part, Alibaba said it was informed, and that it appreciated RBC’s “integrity and for being an excellent partner during the IPO process”.As the Wall Street Journal says: “The first rule of IPOs is: You don’t talk about IPOs”. It also estimates the fee RBC missed out on was around $2.5m, rather than the near $50m for the five lead banks on the deal. At least we now know the price of integrity in banking.  last_img read more

Snapchat hits $12bn value in latest funding

first_img Snapchat hits $12bn value in latest funding Sunday 9 November 2014 11:44 pm whatsapp whatsapp More From Our Partners Native American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest regretnypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.comInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comKamala Harris keeps list of reporters who don’t ‘understand’ her: reportnypost.comBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comMatt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale boondogglenypost.comKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.comUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and Oliver Smith center_img Show Comments ▼ by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryTele Health DaveRemember Pierce Brosnan’s Wife? Take A Deep Breath Before You See What She Looks Like NowTele Health DaveThe No Cost Solar ProgramGet Paid To Install Solar + Tesla Battery For No Cost At Install and Save Thousands.The No Cost Solar ProgramNational Penny For Seniors7 Discounts Seniors Only Get If They AskNational Penny For SeniorsMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekEquity MirrorThey Drained Niagara Falls — They Weren’t Prepared For This Sickening DiscoveryEquity MirrorLoan Insurance WealthDolly Parton, 74, Takes off Makeup, Leaves Us With No WordsLoan Insurance Wealthinvesting.comThe Military Spent $1 Billion On this New Vehicle, And Here’s The First Share PHOTO messaging app Snapchat is currently fundraising at its highest ever valuation of up to $12bn (£7.5bn) according to reports.The startup, which was launched in 2011 by three Stanford University students, has virtually no revenue, but is in talks with a number of potential investors, including Yahoo, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and others, according to The Sunday Times.Talks are said to be ongoing and could value Snapchat at between $10bn and $12bn.Last month, it was first reported that Yahoo was looking to take a stake in Snapchat.The company recently landed a $5bn windfall after selling part of its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba when the firm floated with a $231bn valuation.An investment in Snapchat would help the ageing internet portal tap into mobile technology and step up its exposure to a younger audience.Last year Snapchat raised funding at a valuation north of $2bn and rejected a $3bn acquisition offer from Facebook. Snapchat did not respond to requests for comment. Tags: NULLlast_img read more

Bluebird Bio’s gene therapy for blood disorders yields some impressive results ― but also raises questions

first_img Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. [email protected] Biotech STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. About the Author Reprints GET STARTED Log In | Learn More What is it? By Adam Feuerstein June 23, 2017 Reprints @adamfeuerstein center_img The field of gene therapy is making significant strides towards the day when a one-time treatment ― inserting a healthy gene into patients ― could cure a host of inherited, often fatal diseases. But it’s been a rocky road. And new clinical data presented this morning by Bluebird Bio make clear that success is far from guaranteed. Bluebird is testing a gene therapy for two inherited blood disorders ― and the data managed both to impress and to leave important questions unanswered.On the impressive side: A patient with the inherited blood disease beta-thalassemia, which causes severe anemia, was able to stop regular blood transfusions one month after treatment and achieved a normal level of hemoglobin in six months, according to interim data from an ongoing phase 3 clinical trial. The positive outcome for this patient suggests, but does not yet prove, that manufacturing changes made by Bluebird last year to improve the efficacy of its investigational therapy, Lentiglobin, are having the desired effect. Bluebird Bio’s gene therapy for blood disorders yields some impressive results ― but also raises questions Adam Feuerstein What’s included? Gerry Broome/AP Senior Writer, Biotech Adam is STAT’s national biotech columnist, reporting on the intersection of biotech and Wall Street. He’s also a co-host of “The Readout LOUD” podcast. Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED Tags biotechnologyclinical trialsdrug developmentgeneticsrare diseaseslast_img read more

TSX hits record high close

first_img S&P/TSX composite hits highest close since March on strength of financials sector Related news Canada’s main stock index closed at a record high, boosted by a surging energy sector following a weekend attack on a Saudi Arabian oil facility.The S&P/TSX composite index rose 68.89 points at 16,751.31, topping its previous high of 16,682.42 set on Friday. TSX gets lift from financials, U.S. markets rise to highest since March Canadian Press Keywords Marketwatch Downtown office buildings Toronto elovkoff/123RF In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 142.70 points to 27,076.82. The S&P 500 index lost 9.43 points to 2,997.96, while the Nasdaq composite shed 23.17 points to 8,153.54.The Canadian dollar traded for US75.48¢ compared with an average of US75.43¢ on Friday.The October crude contract surged by US$8.05 to US$62.90 per barrel and the October natural gas contract climbed nearly US7¢ to US$2.68 per mmBTU.The December gold contract advanced US$12.00 to US$1,511.50 an ounce and the December copper contract rose roughly six cents to US$2.64 a pound. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Toronto stock market dips on weakness in the energy and financials sectors Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

Government Team to Consider Future of Disaster Stricken Caribbean Terrace Community

first_imgRelatedGovernment Team to Consider Future of Disaster Stricken Caribbean Terrace Community Advertisements RelatedGovernment Team to Consider Future of Disaster Stricken Caribbean Terrace Community FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, has called for a meeting of the Ministry of Water and Housing, the National Housing Trust, the Urban Development Corporation and other Government planning and development agencies, to formulate recommendations on the future of the Caribbean Terrace Community in Kingston, which was devastated by hurricanes Ivan, Dean and Tropical storm Gustav.The team will be expected to put together a proposal and then to meet again within the next three weeks with representatives of the community. The recommendations will also form the base to inform action for residents of other communities, whose houses are being threatened by natural disasters.A delegation from the Caribbean Terrace Community met earlier this week with Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, along with representatives of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, the Ministry of Water and Housing, National Works Agency, Local Government, the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). The delegation from Caribbean Terrace took the opportunity to outline the extent of the damage the community has suffered in the aftermath of the three disasters.According to the citizens, from as far back as 2004, 15 houses in the scheme were devastated by Hurricane Ivan and another 19 by Hurricane Dean. The citizens said that undertakings had been given to them for remedial work to be done and several relocation sites for the community were proposed, but there has been no follow-up action. The citizens are calling for the area to be declared a disaster zone, or a formal ‘no build zone’.The residents said they were willing to partner with Government to come up with a proposal that would satisfy both parties.Prime Minister Golding, has given the assurance that following the consultations with all agencies that impact on planning and development, another meeting will be held with the representatives, during which a plan of action will be developed.center_img Government Team to Consider Future of Disaster Stricken Caribbean Terrace Community UncategorizedNovember 10, 2008 RelatedGovernment Team to Consider Future of Disaster Stricken Caribbean Terrace Communitylast_img read more

Supporting a stronger local government sector with critical funding

first_imgSupporting a stronger local government sector with critical funding Councils in every corner of the country have shared in $2.6 billion from the Federal Government over the past year to support their communities, undertake projects and boost local jobs.The Federal Government provides billions of dollars to councils, every quarter of every year through the Financial Assistance Grants program.Federal Local Government Minister, Mark Coulton said council coffers nationwide would be replenished by the latest Financial Assistance Grant instalment of $308 million.“Having been a Mayor, I know first-hand how vital our local governments are in building stronger and more sustainable communities, and the Federal Government is proud to partner with them to enable them to deliver for their towns,” Minister Coulton said.“This funding is untied, meaning councils can spend the grants according to local priorities that support jobs and communities, many of which have been impacted by drought, fire, floods and more recently COVID-19.“Across the nation, local governments employ around 194,000 people and deliver a wide range of services in the cities, regional towns and remote areas of Australia, which is why this support is needed now more than ever to help map Australia’s economic recovery.”Minister Coulton said in addition to delivering the final quarterly payment, an early payment of $1.32 billion from next year’s allocation will hit councils’ coffers in June 2021.“This will ensure local governments are well supported to deliver vital services, without having to wait for next year’s quarterly payments: that is 50 per cent, upfront,” Minister Coulton said.“Continuing this support through the Financial Assistance Grant program is key to delivering opportunities for local government to generate business, and will provide a boost to the economy and deliver critical services for their residents.“Every dollar spent on building a stable and effective local government sector is a dollar well spent and that is at the heart of our economic plan for a more secure and resilient Australia.“I am pleased in 2019-20, with record levels of funding in programs such as Financial Assistance Grants, Roads to Recovery, and Local Roads and Community Infrastructure, Federal Government payments to local government was more than one per cent of its available taxation revenue, and I expect this to be the case again by the end of this financial year.”Minister Coulton said since 1974-75, the Australian Government has provided local governments with close to $60 billion in untied funding through the Financial Assistance Grants program.Visit /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:AusPol, Australia, Australian, Australian Government, building, business, community, covid-19, drought, Federal, federal government, Government, grants program, infrastructure, Local Government, Minister, regional development, sustainablelast_img read more

Empathy for others’ pain rooted in cognition rather than sensation, CU-Boulder study finds

first_img Published: June 14, 2016 A man’s arm in a sling. Photo: Daniel Lobo / Flickr. The ability to understand and empathize with others’ pain is grounded in cognitive neural processes rather than sensory ones, according to the results of a new study led by University of Colorado Boulder researchers.The findings show that the act of perceiving others’ pain (i.e., empathy for others’ pain) does not appear to involve the same neural circuitry as experiencing pain in one’s own body, suggesting that they are different interactions within the brain.“The research suggests that empathy is a deliberative process that requires taking another person’s perspective rather than being an instinctive, automatic process,” said Tor Wager, the senior author of the study, director of the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at CU-Boulder.A study detailing the results was published online today in the journal eLife.Empathy is a key cornerstone of human social behavior, but the complex neural interactions underlying this behavior are not yet fully understood. Previous hypotheses have suggested that the same brain regions that allow humans to feel pain in their own bodies might activate when perceiving the pain of others.To test this idea, the researchers compared patterns of brain activity in human volunteers as they experienced moderate pain directly (via heat, shock, or pressure) in one experimental session, and watched images of others’ hands or feet being injured in another experimental session. When volunteers watched images, they were asked to try to imagine that the injuries were happening to their own bodies.The researchers found that the brain patterns when the volunteers observed pain did not overlap with the brain patterns when the volunteers experienced pain themselves. Instead, while observing pain, the volunteers showed brain patterns consistent with mentalizing, which involves imagining another person’s thoughts and intentions.The results suggest that within the brain, the experience of observing someone else in pain is neurologically distinct from that of experiencing physical pain oneself.“Most previous studies focused only on the points of similarity between these two distinct experiences in a few isolated brain regions while ignoring dissimilarities. Our new study used a more granular analysis method,” said Anjali Krishnan, the lead author of the study and a post-doctoral research associate in the Institute of Cognitive Science at CU-Boulder while the research was conducted. She is currently an assistant professor at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.This new analysis method identified an empathy-predictive brain pattern that can be applied to new individuals to obtain a brain-related ‘vicarious pain score,’ opening new possibilities for measuring the strength of activity in brain systems that contribute to empathy.The results may open new avenues of inquiry into how the brain regions involved in empathy help humans to relate to others when they experience different types of pain. Future studies may also explore the factors that influence one’s ability to adopt another’s perspective and whether it might be possible to improve this ability.Co-authors of the new research include Choong-Wan Woo and Marina López-Solà of CU-Boulder; Luke Chang of Dartmouth College; Luka Ruzic of Duke University; Xiaosi Gu of the University of Texas at Dallas; Philip Jackson of Université Laval (Canada); Jesús Pujol of Hospital del Mar (Spain); and Jin Fan of Queens College of the City University of New York.The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provided funding for the study.Contact:Tor Wager, [email protected] Krishnan, [email protected] Knoss, CU-Boulder media relations, [email protected] Categories:Health & SocietyNews Headlinescenter_img “The research suggests that empathy is a deliberative process that requires taking another person’s perspective rather than being an instinctive, automatic process,” said Tor Wager, the senior author of the study, director of the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at CU-Boulder. Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-maillast_img read more

International Harmonising of the standards and specifications will boost the Medical devices Industry in India: Dr P B N Prasad

first_img By EH News Bureau on February 9, 2021 International Harmonising of the standards and specifications will boost the Medical devices Industry in India: Dr P B N Prasad The government is focusing on the Harmonising the devices, policy framework, quality management system, harmonising and creative a conducive system for the manufacturer Happening Now News The missing informal workers in India’s vaccine story Read Article WHO tri-regional policy dialogue seeks solutions to challenges facing international mobility of health professionals Share Health and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Medical Devices Committee, PHDCCI in association with Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India organised third series of Self Sufficiency in Medical Technology on “India to be an attractive destination for MedTech”.The guest of honour of the session was Dr P B N Prasad, Joint Drugs Controller General of India, CDSCO. In his remarks he said that the regulator is the last part of the system. In the next decade India should be a medical devices hub and to make that possible, the government is focusing on the Harmonising the devices, policy framework, quality management system, harmonising and creative a conducive system for the manufacturer.He further mentioned that regulators are also facing several technical challenges now a day, country is dependent on imports in this sector and there is a need for becoming Aatmanirbhar in this domain by reducing the dependency of imports and facilitating the home manufacturers.Dr Prasad also encouraged for India to be a medical manufacturing hub including generics and medical devices both. He further said that India has large pool of engineers and pharmacists and COVID-19 has made us learnt many lessons in this sector.He said that we need a robust ecosystem and we have high hopes that all challenges will be overcome within the decade itself. Right now regulators, investors and manufacturers are all in learning and evolving process. As necessity is the mother of the invention, Medical device industry will be a great boon for the country in the coming years.He further mentioned that we do have the skilled manpower and now we need to have innovation in R&D and innovation hub as today it is the necessity to innovate, manufacture and become self reliant in the medical devices.The webinar was also attended by Pradeep Multani, Sr Vice President, PHDCCI, Dr N Subramanian, Chair, Health Committee, PHDCCI & Director, Medical Services, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals and Bhargav Kotadia, Co-Chair, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing & Medical Devices Committee, PHDCCI & Managing Director, Sahajanand Medical Technologies.The other eminent panelists present were Pavan Choudary, DG and Chairman, MTaI and Managing Director, Vygon India, Nitin Mahajan, Director, J MItra and Co, Gaurav Agarwal, Managing Director, IITPL and Akriti Bajaj, Senior Manager / Healthcare Lead at Invest IndiaWhile giving the welcome remarks, Multani said that the healthcare sector in India has rapidly progressed in the last decade. Today, the country is favorably positioned in the medical devices domain for outsourced contract design, development, and manufacturing. The focus on design-to-cost and a robust manufacturing ecosystem makes India a suitable destination for design-led-manufacturing of medical devices.Multani also mentioned about the five main reasons for India as fast emerging ideal base for medical equipment manufacturing like Presence of skilled resources, various Government initiatives like PLI Schemes, Medical technology parks and support to the MedTech industry, Cost-effective operations, Sensitivity to Intellectual Property rights and data security and last one as Robust ecosystem to support production.Dr N Subramanian mentioned that technology advancement is making healthcare affordable, accessible and available to larger population. He further mentioned that risk of people dying from non-communicable diseases are raising and expenditure of more than 30 trillion will be there on treating such diseases if not prevented early. Prevention, early diagnosis and curative treatment are the points to be focused moving forward. He also mentioned that today we are so much of technology dependent but technology also comes at a cost. The MedTech industry in India should hold the path of innovation so that its products and solutions are custom-designed for the opportunities and constraints of the country.Bhargav Kotadia said that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented a unique opportunity for India to emerge as the new manufacturing hub of the world. With India now taking centre stage in the fight against COVID, India’s MedTech sector is slated for a global presence which positions India as a global hub for medical devices. Further, post the Union Budget 2021, it is now clear that MedTech will be the next sunshine industry. Last two decades have seen many disruptive technologies in various industries, but the highly regulated market of medical devices was a dampener. Today, with more conducive policies announced in the healthcare and MedTech sector, especially sector specific reforms such as the PLI Scheme, making of Bulk, API, Medical Device parks and the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” approach by the government, will surely help the sector thrive and be resilient during this pandemic period.This offers the medical device industry the opportunity to leapfrog and make fundamental and sweeping changes that will sustain for years to come, for both domestic and global players, making India a truly attractive destination.Pavan Choudary said that our goal should be to capitalise on our strengths, while we build new ones. First, we should try to avoid bringing in policies that could destabilise the trend of rising FDI in MedTech that we are receiving, and channelise it towards existing manufacturers, dependable budding manufacturers and component manufacturers to form Joint Ventures and collaborations. Second, we should also build upon our Healthcare Worker Training capacities with collaborations between global innovators, local companies and the government.Third, India is the third largest employer of R&D in MedTech (After US and Germany). The R&D specific investment of Rs 1200 crore by Medtronic just last year is another testimony to the fact that we have immense potential in R&D in MedTech, and we should try to tap it.Gaurav Agarwal emphasised that India is among the fastest growing medical devices in the world and yet we are only under two per cent of the global market and heavily import dependent. We need to do the full to make India an attractive destination for MedTech.Agarwal also emphasised on some points to look after like need of a predictable regulatory roadmap, nominal protective tariff barriers in areas of high import dependence, R&D ecosystem by bringing Academia, funding agencies together in incubators and Phased Manufacturing Program (PMP) by gradually increasing customs duties in finished goods in key areas.Nitin Mahajan said that by another 15 years, we would find India to be more affluent and technology will support things for being accessible. Furthermore, technology would aid manufacturing by making production quicker. Technology will be at a cost, however what India needs is technology with sustainable costs-hence making in India is a long term solution and Atmanirbhar is in right spirit. High end technology being 90 per cent imported needs to be looked into as this is the biggest need and also the opportunity zone.Mahajan further mentioned that COVID has accelerated the need for improvement in both healthcare plus education. The Government in its budget are focusing on both by increase in spend and maximising use of digital tech to connect. There are three axis approach for India Movement; first being manufacturing as in manufacturing, there has to be an entry barrier in the form of import duty else its easy to make in any part of the world (and claim export incentive) and import the same in NIL-duty much to loss of domestic manufacturer. Normally, each country has its own protection tariff structure in place; second being approvals for Licensing, Testing Labs, Certifications as Medial Device- Does not need Sampling, testing and approvals, as like Pharma. Also the limited number tesing labs creates delay and loss of opportunity and we should not limit to international CE/US FDA, which most Indian makers do not aim for and lastly third being the market acceptance as Indian makers, need domestic demand to sustain, else all efforts are in vain.Akriti Bajaj, Healthcare and Medical devices lead at Invest India, the national investment promotion agency of India mentioned the government’s various initiatives to achieve this goal, such as the launch of Production linked incentives 1.0 and 2.0. Related Posts MaxiVision Eye Hospitals launches “Mucormycosis Early Detection Centre” Phoenix Business Consulting invests in telehealth platform Healpha Akriti BajajDr. P B N PrasadIndia to be an attractive destination for MedTechmedical devicemedtech Adoption of AI/ML can disrupt healthcare services Menopause to become the next game-changer in global femtech solutions industry by 2025 Comments (0) Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals releases first “Comprehensive Textbook of COVID-19” Add Commentlast_img read more

Parting Waters

first_img Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. An escalating dispute between the leader of a local water-quality group and the state agency administratively attached to it reached new heights last week when the group’s executive director was fired for being “dishonest, subversive and disruptive” to the agency’s operations.But Caryn Miske, former head of the Flathead Basin Commission, denies that any of her actions ran afoul of her duties, and argues in a grievance filed against the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation that the intent of the legislatively established commission is to operate independently of state government in order to hold it accountable. Miske contends the DNRC’s top brass retaliated against her for political reasons and due to personality conflicts and a power struggle, first targeting the commission by dramatically slashing its budget and then dismissing its lone salaried staff member.A lengthy Feb. 26 termination letter authored by DNRC Division Administrator Mark Bostrom portrays sharp differences in how the agency interprets the independence of the Flathead Basin Commission.“The FBC was never intended by the Legislature to deliver agency oversight. Your role in promoting the ‘agency watchdog’ concept, rather than grounding the FBC in its statutory duties, is dishonest, subversive, and disruptive of state agency operations and adds to the weight of evidence that you are ill-suited to continue as the FBC’s Executive Director,” the letter states. “This action is based on your chronic and pervasive failure.”Among the allegations that led to Miske’s firing are that she led an unauthorized attempt to change the structure of government; circumvented the executive planning process; misled FBC commissioners to operate outside of statutory bounds; and repeatedly mismanaged financial and administrative functions.The termination letter accuses Miske of using state resources to solicit donations to the Flathead Community Foundation, a nonprofit designed to pay FBC costs and bolster the pool of resources the commission had to fulfill its mission. Indeed, through fundraising, grants and partnerships, Miske said the commission more than quadrupled its budget every year.Advocates of the basin commission defend its former leader, pointing to a long-running clash between Miske and DNRC Director John Tubbs, with whom she frequently butted heads and regularly criticized.“He developed a very hostile relationship to Caryn,” Chas Cartwright, a former FBC chair and the former superintendent of Glacier National Park, said. “Bureaucratic paperwork was not her strong suit. She doesn’t always get it done on time. But find me a bigger workhorse than her. She made things happen that benefited the entire region.”Tubbs acknowledges that Miske and DNRC officials have often found themselves at odds, but denies wholesale that defunding the Flathead Basin Commission and dismissing Miske has anything to do with retribution. Rather, it was in response to Montana’s budget shortfall that required across-the-board cuts, and for Miske’s habit of shirking her responsibilities as a government employee — a point she disputes as the head of an independent commission.“For my entire tenure, I have been concerned with what the executive director’s relationship has been with the state,” Tubbs told the Beacon last November, when state agencies were faced with steep budget cuts and the Basin Commission’s $150,000 budget landed on the chopping block. “She has not hidden the fact that she believes the state agencies are not good actors. But the bottom line is that I personally have a very large hole to fill in a state agency’s budget. That is not a vendetta.”Anne Sherwood, the attorney representing Miske through the grievance process, said her client’s administrative duties may have come up short at times due to an outsized workload for a commission run by a single full-time employee. However, it did not rise to a level that merits termination.“Even if the [DNRC] could terminate Ms. Miske’s employment, it lacks good cause to do so under the Montana Wrongful Discharge from Employment Act,” Sherwood wrote in a letter to the DNRC’s human resources manager.Deb Tirmenstein, with the Flathead Basin Commission, and her dog Ismay search a boat for aquatic invasive species at an FWP watercraft inspection station in Ravalli. Beacon File PhotoEstablished by the Montana Legislature in 1983 as an independent body, the Flathead Basin Commission has worked to furnish protections on the region’s prized local waters for 35 years, and is administratively attached to the DNRC, the agency Miske and others say it is also charged with holding accountable.Initially created to stave off mining and drilling efforts along the Canadian Flathead River north of Glacier National Park, the Flathead Basin Commission has since tackled a range of issues, including providing additional layers of defense to statewide prevention efforts aimed at keeping aquatic invasive species like mussels out of the state’s water bodies.On that front, Miske has been a vocal critic of the response from the DNRC and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to the positive detection in 2016 of invasive mussel larvae east of the Continental Divide in Tiber Reservoir, as well as their suspected presence in Canyon Ferry Reservoir and the Missouri River near Townsend.Both locally and statewide, efforts to reduce the risk of devastating aquatic invasive species (AIS) spreading through Montana’s water bodies have since ramped up in response to the detection, including an exponential increase in legislative appropriations to fund the response.Still, with the threat of invasive mussels knocking on the door of the Flathead Basin, Miske’s fierce independent streak emerged in critiques of the state’s response, as well as through efforts to fund additional AIS inspection stations to make up for what she called shortcomings in the state’s program.The Flathead Basin Commission’s efforts to curb the threat of invasive mussels entering Montana have included funding watercraft inspection stations on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, which proved effective, as well as purchasing and training mussel-sniffing canines.That’s precisely the role of the commission, says Jim Jensen, executive director of the Montana Environmental Information Center, who was a state representative from Billings in 1983 when he co-sponsored the bill establishing the Flathead Basin Commission (FBC).“It was created as an independent agency expressly to prevent this kind of interference,” Jensen said. “I worked hard on that bill to create the commission with the intent of having an independent body to hold the state government accountable, and Caryn has done an exemplary job.”A closure at the Apgar boat ramp due to the threat of aquatic invasive species at Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park on July 18, 2017. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon“This is a classic bureaucratic power play, with the DNRC doing whatever it can to get rid of a critic who has held them accountable for their failures regarding aquatic invasive species protection in the basin,” Jensen continued.It’s a sentiment shared by many past FBC members who for years have volunteered their time on the commission and were instrumental in the fight against AIS locally.In a letter from members of the FBC Executive Committee and signed by former FBC Chair Jan Metzmaker, Vice Chair Rich Janssen, former Chair Thompson Smith, and Jack Potter, a governor-appointed citizen member who worked in Glacier National Park for 40 years before retiring as chief of science and resources, the members accuse DNRC of overreach and undermining the role of an independent commission.“Her hiring, firing and supervision is under the control of the FBC,” the letter states.Hal Harper, who served as former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s chief policy adviser and was elected to the state House 13 times, the first time as a Republican in 1972, worked closely with Miske and the Flathead Basin Commission to help broker the Memorandum of Understanding between British Columbia and Montana that removed coal, oil and gas development in the transboundary valley.He said Miske was extremely effective in communicating with stakeholders from all corners of the issue and credits her and the FBC with sealing the deal.But he doesn’t believe the DNRC is vindictively seeding a cloud of suspicion over Miske; rather, he said the state had to make cuts in a year of belt-tightening.“John Tubbs and the DNRC had to make a decision on where to cut, and it’s too bad but someone’s got to make those decisions,” Harper said. “Every part of the state is hurting and this one hurts the Flathead Basin. But I’m not going to blame Tubbs for what he did. I will say Caryn Miske and the Flathead Basin Commission were incredibly helpful in helping us formulate and ratify the Memorandum of Understanding with British Columbia.”Sherwood, the attorney representing Miske, also states in her letter to the DNRC that agency officials sought information from personal cell phone and email accounts regarding the investigation into Miske, and asked the agency to cease and desist contacting volunteer members of the commission.Potter, the governor-appointed member of the FBC, said the request for private information was especially frustrating.“As a volunteer using my own computer, that kind of privacy invasion is subject to some serious legal questions,” he said. “Even after working in the federal government for 40 years I have never gotten anything like that.” Emaillast_img read more